Big C Support Centre opens in Norwich

Local cancer charity, Big C, is reporting a sharp surge in demand for its services. It has seen an overall increase of 79% in total support sessions from 4,904 to 8,782, year on year.* In addition, there has been a 120% rise in Support and Information sessions and a 51% increase in complementary therapy treatments provided by the organisation.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Summer | Autumn 2023
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Charity: Big C

The news comes as the Norfolk-based charity opens the doors of its new state-of-the-art Cancer Support Centre in Dereham Road, Norwich. The new centre has been designed by Norwich architects, Purcell.

Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations, said: “In line with the NHS long-term plan, we know that treating cancer with a holistic approach leads to the best outcomes.** We are delighted that so many more people affected by cancer are accessing our support, which includes a raft of services to ease some of the worries, anxieties and practical concerns that may present alongside a cancer diagnosis.

“This includes the opportunity to visit the centre and talk in confidence to our team of nurses and skilled support officers, to access professional counselling and complementary therapies, nutrition and exercise programmes, group sessions, and assistance with financial and welfare concerns in partnership with the CAB.”

Extending its support to cancer patients

She added: “Our purpose is to ensure we can meet this demand and we are beyond proud to announce the opening of our Norwich City Cancer Support Centre, which thanks to a hugely successful public appeal, raised £750,000 to build, furnish and equip the centre. This new centre will complement our existing centre in the grounds of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.”

Norfolk has the most elderly population of all UK counties, with a disproportionate older demographic of 24.4 per cent – projected to rise to 30 per cent over the next 20 years.*** Therefore, as cancer is predominantly a disease of age, the county will see a higher incidence.

Big C has worked hard to expand the scope of its support and to raise awareness of the breadth of help, which is completely free of charge, available for cancer patients and their families in Norfolk and neighbouring counties. In the past couple of years alone, this has included the introduction of a Nourish & Nurture nutrition and wellness programme, palliative care support group, the HILL bereavement programme and walking football sessions.

Dr Chris Bushby, CEO of Big C Cancer Charity, commented: “The level of holistic care provided by Big C is sadly still rare in regions across the UK. We are so very fortunate that David Moar MBE and Clive Bamford founded Big C in 1980, and through strong leadership and loyal support from our amazing individual and corporate donors, grants and trusts, we’ve been able to grow into the large regional charity it is today.

“This launch is a celebration of that, the culmination of an enormous amount of planning, work and tenacity! But look at the result – this Cancer Support Centre is at the forefront of best practice in cancer care. It’s a bright, highly functional, welcoming space which will provide respite, comfort, counsel and a space to solve problems and ‘wrap the arms’ around those that need us. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped bring our vision to life. We are open and ready to support.”

Centred at the heart of the community

The new centre features a light, calming central lounge area with comfortable seating and reflective artworks, an open-plan workshop kitchen, private rooms for one-to-one counselling, complementary therapy treatment rooms, The Big C Studio – a bright space for group activities and exercise classes – an intimate alcove library and a sensory wellbeing garden.

Big C was thrilled to be gifted a virtual tour of the new support centre, to allow people to familiarise themselves with the environment before visiting for the first time. The 360 tour was created by the innovative team at immersive media specialists, Vortex Visual.

Max and Will, co-founders of Vortex, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to support such an important charity. We’re all affected by cancer in different ways, and to know that there’s a centre right here in the heart of Norwich for people to pop into, as and when they need support, is amazing. We hope the virtual tour enables people to orient themselves with this beautiful centre before they attend, whether they have cancer themselves, or they’re a family member, friend or supporter of Big C.”

GET IN TOUCH

To access Big C’s support at the new Norwich City Cancer Support Centre:

T: 0800 092 7640
E: support@big-c.co.uk
Or visit www.big-c.co.uk  
Alternatively, simply drop in 9.00am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

The new centre is situated at 66-70 Dereham Road, Norwich, NR2 4BU.

*Qtr 1 2022 to 2023

** The NHS Long Term Plan for Cancer states that “where appropriate every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including a needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support.”

*** Source ONS Census 2021

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